Le Samyn des Dames, a 112km race from Quaregnon to Dour in Belgium, saw the unfortunate crash of team leader Shelley Olds, who placed 5th and 4th respectively at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Omloop van het Hageland last weekend. Stepping up to the challenge, Valentina Scandolara finished 13th in a stacked field. With UCI points and Olympic selection on the line, Scandolara's finish as the top Italian rider brings her one step closer to the dream of national team selection for Rio.
"I was happy today," said Scandolara, who is riding strong coming back from illness, "But we had a terrible bad luck and we did deserve much more for how we rode. Shelley and I made the selection, rode smart and I chased all Boels' attacks to set her up for the win... but with 10km to go after being in the break for 80km, Shelley crashed out when Johannson was making her move. I chased back a group, dropped them but it was not enough... Results didn't give us what we deserved, but legs are there and hopefully will be good also on Saturday, when one of the races I like the most is on--Strade Bianche!"
Director Manel Lacambra was disappointed with the crash but optimistic about the team's strength.
"Le Samyn was good until Shelley 's crash happened," said director sportif Manel Lacambra."Today was a strong wind and after 40km the echelons started and Valentina and Shelley made the front group. They rode very well and with two riders in front, we had a lot of options to win. But unfortunately around 10km to go, in the worst cobbles section, a rider crashed into Shelley forcing her to abandon the race. It is sad because the whole team raced well. Then Valentina had a mechanical but she finished in top 15."
Le Samyn des Dames Results; 112 km
# Rider Name (Country) Team
1 Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling team
2 Emma Johansson (Swe) Wiggle High5
3 Amy Pieters (Ned) Wiggle High5
4 Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur
5 Demi De Jong (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
6 Nikki Harris (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling team
7 Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cycling team
8 Kelly Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Etixx
9 Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Hitec Products
10 Roxane Fournier (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
11 Jermaine Post (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team
12 Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels Dolmans Cycling team
13 Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling